Browsing Tag

direct bookings

The Seven Traits of Great Hotel Digital Marketers

August 8, 2017 • By
Hotel marketing requires a quirky blend of skills. image1 Virtually every one of your future guests will discover and engage with your property in the online world before they ever walk through your doors. That’s why digital marketing has become such a prerequisite skill for hotels that want to outperform their compset. But this job isn’t just limited to running ads and managing channels; digital marketing managers are also responsible for launching their own programs, managing external vendors and many other activities. As one of those external vendors, we’ve worked with hundreds of hotel digital marketers over the years… and during that time we’ve seen that it takes a very special set of skills to be successful in such a demanding position. The most successful hotel digital marketers we’ve worked with have these 7 traits in common: 1. They Multitask On any given day, a digital marketing manager has to take care of a wide variety of tasks, ALL while overcoming sudden crisis drops in occupancy. To be successful in such a hectic environment, that person needs to be an excellent multitasker, with an uncanny sense of recall. This combination lets them pick up on where they left off on other tasks from previous days and make steady progress towards their goals – all while being pulled in multiple directions. 2. They are Caffeinated Digital marketing managers often need to help fill hundreds of rooms, every night, or face vanishing assets. But accomplishing that task, in a business that often sees many of its bookings occur in the last 48 hours before arrival, requires someone with a lot of energy and stamina (it’s not uncommon to see them go through 5 or 6 cups of coffee every single day). 3. They Should Be Well-Traveled You can’t market a product when you have no experience as a user/buyer. With this in mind, it’s only natural that successful hotel marketing managers should be able to use their own travel experiences to speak to prospects on a personal level.  image2 4. They Should Have Experience in Other Industries  For an industry like ours, one that’s been resistant to change on many occasions, attracting digital marketers with skills and knowledge from other industries is essential. Hotels have long depended on a few core channels for their revenue, while other industries (think software and tech) have to develop innovative ways to build audiences, users and market share. By borrowing best practices, tactics and tools from other industries, hotel digital marketers can turbocharge your property’s marketing strategies and give you a serious advantage on the compset. 5. They Should Speak Geek It’s cool to be part geek these days, especially in the hospitality marketing sector. That’s because everything is constantly evolving, so there’s always so much to learn. That’s why it’s a good indicator of success when you hear your digital marketing manager talking with their friends about things like; CRS, PMS, CRM, CMS, SEO, PPC or SEM. It shows their real interest in these subjects. 6. They Shouldn’t Be Scared of Data and Reporting  That’s the only way they know what’s working in their campaigns… and what’s not. Being comfortable with data and reporting also enables successful hotel digital marketers to make strong business cases to management and ownership for additional funds and marketing assets. 7. They Should Present Well Digital marketing managers need to be seen as leaders who are able to bridge ‘the departmental divide’ and bring revenue management, sales and GMs together. Presentation skills and confidence are the keys to building consensus and cooperation across departments. So, which one of these 7 skills is most important for your property?  How do you keep your competitive edge?  We’d love to hear more about this from your point of view in the comments below! 

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Leverage Past Guests to Crush New Hotel Competition

August 4, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one FREE impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This week’s freebie: Get a leg up on new hotel competition by maximizing the one thing they don’t have – past guests.  With their modern amenities, fresh technology, and remarkable experiences that travelers are clamoring for, new hotels are perfectly poised to steal a chunk of your market. It’s hard to battle for bookings when you’re surrounded by exciting new properties that are stealing all the attention and all the business. Don’t rely on slashing prices to take those bookings back. This will just hurt your bottom line and your reputation. Instead, turn to the one thing that they don’t have: past guests. You have an AUDIENCE… monetize it! While the new properties build up their profile and struggle to bring in new guests, create an exciting offer exclusively for your most lucrative past guests. Also, make sure you are using the positive reviews of past guests to create trust and validation among new prospective guests as well; your hotel website should prominently showcase testimonial reviews from leisure guests AND past meetings/groups! Finally, follow new compset hotel developments closely and time your marketing campaigns/promos to coincide with their opening and dampen the attrition of business due to their launch! Get more: Discover more ways to compete with new hotel properties.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Test Drive Your Booking Experience As a First-Time Guest Would

July 28, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This week’s freebie: Test and experience your website as a first-time guest would to spot what makes guests bounce. Your website is your digital front door. And, just like your physical front door, there are a number of blockades that could, and do, get in a guest’s way. Similar to an unwelcoming main entrance or a confusing front desk, hotel websites can have their own unsavory traits. These include slow load times, cluttered homepages, complicated booking procedures and a messy design. However, most hotel marketers don’t see these traits in their own hotel websites. So, it’s important to take a look and scrutinize your website experience with fresh eyes to make sure nothing is getting in the way of changing a potential guest’s mind or blocking someone from exploring your website or booking a room. To get some ideas, watch this video to see what real consumers think when they are booking a room on an OTA and directly on a hotel website. Test your experience and look out for things that are likely to make your guests bounce. Get More: 8 Ways Hotel Marketers Can Avoid Looking Foolish

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, OTA, Uncategorized

Are Google and Apple Blocking Your Hotel Ads?

July 25, 2017 • By

Hotel digital marketers will now have even more technology to deal with.

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Major Takeaways:

  • Hotels need to understand the affects of new tech restrictions on their digital advertising
  • The announced updates to Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari will not block ALL advertising, just the most worst offending, spammy and intrusive ads
  • Google is taking a collaborative approach and letting publishers know ahead of time what type of ad content will be allowed and which will be blocked. Apple, on the other hand, is taking a harder stance against ads they deem irritating. They have yet to release more details.

Last month, digital advertisers (including most hotels) and their media partners were treated to a serious surprise.

Google announced plans to block intrusive and annoying digital ads in the newest version of Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser commanding 44 percent of the audience. This default ad-blocker will soon block certain digital ads – including those that take up too much of the computer screen, force readers to wait to view content they really want to see, or auto play videos and audio.

Apple soon followed with their own announcement: They are updating their Safari browser with radical new features aimed at protecting their users’ privacy and providing a friendlier web experience. These include:

  • VIDEO ADS: Preventing video or audio autoplay without the user’s permission. Online video advertising is generally seen as more valuable to advertisers since they attract higher engagement than static banner ads. This is especially noteworthy to resorts, who often use vide-enabled ads to showcase the compelling sights, sounds, colors and majesty of their properties.
  • RETARGETING ADS: Disabling ad tracking from 3rd party ad networks, which hotels would normally use to track people’s visits across different websites. This is how ad networks can tell if someone looked at your hotel and can serve up retargeting ads to keep your hotel top-of-mind.
  • BARE MINIMUM CONTENT: Giving online visitors the option to only view the main content of any website without any ‘extras’ like advertising, list of ‘suggested reading’,  and even design features like colors and fonts.

Some media experts and (let’s face it, virtually all) consumers are applauding Google and Apple’s moves to protect and enhance the online user experience by weeding out obnoxious ad interruptions.

People are fed up with crappy web experiences. They’re tired of companies tracking their behavior. They’re tired of obtrusive ads getting in their way. And, they’re tired of worrying about the possibility of hackers delivering malware through fake ads.

However, Google and Apple aren’t the first to intervene and block dreaded advertising experiences. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, about 26 percent of web visitors have already handled this on their own by installing plugins that block trackers and ads. And, about 10 percent have installed ad and tracking blockers on their smartphones.

So, what does this mean for hoteliers who depend on digital advertising for reaching new audiences and recapturing abandoned reservations with retargeting ads?

It’s time to adjust.

These ad blockers will definitely have a rippling impact on the hotel industry, but your advertising can still succeed if you follow these guidelines:

1. Understand your ad formats…. and where they run

Reach out to your media buying team and make sure you understand the type of ads that will run for your property and which networks/sites they run on. According to Google’s announcement, the type of ads they will block in the next version of Chrome are autoplay videos, pop-up ads and ads that cover most of the page. In recent years, Apple has become more and more concerned with their consumers and privacy. In fact, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has lashed out at internet companies that collect user data, calling it an attack on privacy. The upcoming version of Safari will not block ads. Instead, it will block a user’s browsing data from third-party tracking tools that specialize in sharing audience data with other parties. This will make it harder for hotels to access audience data and leverage the intelligence to shape future marketing campaigns, create retargeting ads, and personalize marketing campaigns. From here on… essentially, any company that doesn’t have a direct relationship with the consumer will be at a disadvantage.

2. Are you paying for blocked ads?

Work with your media buying team to track the success of your PPC and digital ad campaigns.

Are your hotel ads published and actually seen? Or, are they being published (incurring costs), then blocked by the end user’s browser?

This will require testing and having the ability to pivot and replace these blocked ads with replacements that are more user-friendly. Plus, if you find that many of your ads are being blocked within Chrome and Safari, it’s time to up your game and think of new ways to grab your hotel audience’s attention.

3. Commit to quality

These radical moves by Google and Apple are meant to keep out the worst of the worst, while giving quality ads more screen time and less noise to cut through. Hotels now have to be accountable for creating advertising campaigns that are helpful, entertaining and stimulate dialogue with consumers… rather than just self-indulgently interrupting them.


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice

6 Ways Hotel Marketing Can Generate More Leads for the Sales Team

July 18, 2017 • By
Hotel marketing teams need to improve their support of group sales.

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Achieving group and meetings revenue targets can make or break your property’s annual performance. But incredibly, most hotel group sales departments lack consistent, effective marketing support and are forced to generate their own leads. Hotel marketers often ignore the need to boost their hotel’s revenue by accelerating the number of incoming sales leads.

As a result, hotel marketing departments usually stick to what they know: marketing only to leisure travelers.

Let’s change that. 

There are several smart ways for hotel marketers to generate more group business for their hotel and champion the sales teams’ efforts. It simply takes using the hotel marketing strategies you already know and use… and finessing them for the meetings market:

1. Be Accountable: Carry a Quota

What?!
Marketing people carrying a quota?

While this may be a strange and radical concept among hotel marketers, other industries (i.e. Silicon Valley software companies) have been assigning lead generation quotas to marketing teams for many years. Asset managers and property owners no longer want to hear about “branding initiatives” or logo colors… they expect their hotel management firm’s marketing team to contribute to revenue in a measurable way, communicate in number-speak and be accountable for tangible results.

Quotas for marketing teams can be memorialized in terms of leads or actual closed deals generated by leads driven by the marketing team. And marketers often receive bonuses based on their performance against their quota.

Hotel marketers need to remember that having a quota is not only a burden, but also an opportunity: if they hit their assigned lead generation targets, they increase their value in a demonstrably important way to their management and can ask for compensation increases as a result!

2. Consistently Communicate with “HVTs”
Every hotel should have a Top 100 list of “high value targets.”

Most hotel sales teams already work with a company like Knowland to access groups market intelligence to identify the most relevant group opportunities for their location and venue size. But the hotel marketing team should ensure these HVTs are loaded into a simple CRM platform in order to send out a steady stream of entertaining, engaging and useful stories, photos and videos that will help meeting planners do their jobs when planning a meeting in your destination and beyond.

Meeting planners love to book venues they trust. And one way to build trust is by communicating consistently in a selfless, helpful way. Hotel marketers should deploy a steady “drip” of stories, photos and content that helps prospects understand the destination better and do their job more effectively.

But under no circumstances should the content be self-serving!

Your content “stream” does not have to be restricted to email or digital content. Direct mailing personal notes and helpful material often breaks through the clutter and differentiates you from the thousands of emails your prospects receive each week!

Creating this cadence of content will establish you and your property as a trusted resource and position you as THE leader in your destination!

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3. Empower Sales with Marketing Automation
You’ve already been using marketing automation to boost leisure business for several years, from post stay surveys to reservation recovery emails. Now, you can use the same principle to be a catalyst for driving meetings and events to your hotel. By placing a piece of code (provided from your marketing automation vendor or hotel marketing agency) into your website, you can monitor whenever one of your sales team’s key group business targets visits and explores your meeting pages.

Plus, your marketing automation software will be able to determine what the planner’s interests are by following their clicks. Did the planner spend more time looking at breakfast catering menus? The section on government meetings and per diem pricing? Or, watch a virtual tour of your largest ballroom? You can then provide this data to the sales team and enable them to craft relevant messages and offers to match planners’ exact event needs.

4. Stay Top of Mind with Retargeting
Keep your hotel top-of-mind with meeting planners who visit, then leave your hotel website’s meeting pages. If a meeting planner goes to your website, clicks around and leaves without submitting an RFP, set up retargeting display ad campaigns to follow them online and remind them what makes your venue a remarkable option for their group.

5. Create Compelling Destination Content
Establish your hotel and its sales team as meeting industry thought leaders in your city by creating helpful, info-tainment content. This will position your hotel as being the most experienced property to host meetings and events in your destination.

For Example: 5 Distilleries For Groups To Experience True Louisville Bourbon, 10 Waterfront Teambuilding Activities in Long Beach, or Most Unique Group Tours in Philadelphia. You can also take content you’ve already written for the leisure audience and customize for the groups market by giving it a meeting and events ‘spin.’

Then, pay to publish these into the LinkedIn newsfeeds of meeting professionals. Post these onto your hotel’s own meetings and events blog or repurpose this as content for upcoming sales newsletters (See #2 & 3 above).

6. Optimize Your Website for Meeting Planners
This is your main marketing vehicle, so don’t solely cater to leisure guests here. Pack your meetings and events section with all the resources that meeting planners need. Our latest meeting planner survey revealed that planners wanted relevant sourcing tools that could be downloaded directly from hotel websites, including photos of past events, floor diagrams, room measurements, capacity charts, testimonials, and 360-degree venue tours.




About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Hotel Website Copy That Sells

July 14, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one FREE impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Convert more lookers into bookers by tweaking your hotel website copy. Today, no one has the attention span to read anymore. Studies show that people online only have an attention span of 8 SECONDS. This puts a lot of pressure on hotel marketers to entice, engage and convince all within that tiny timeframe. So, what’s a hotel marketer to do to maximize mere seconds when someone is on your website–your ultimate marketing asset? How can you quickly push someone closer to booking? The Main Secret: Write for scanners, not readers.  So, write less, make every word count, and make it easy to read. Here Are Some Tips:
  • Cut the fluff, get to the point. Adjectives are the sign of a weak writer!
  • Don’t feel the pressure to write in full, complete sentences all the time. It’s okay now to write how you speak. Say what you mean and mean what you say!
  • Break up content in at-a-glance, “snackable” chunks, instead of writing lengthy paragraphs.
  • Use subheads and headlines to break-up distinct topic changes. This makes it easier to digest important points.
  • Replace some copy with a fitting image or video instead.
Get More Here: Want People to Actually Read Your Hotel Website? Here’s How.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Make Your Hotel Website More Meeting Planner Friendly

July 7, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Make it easier for meeting planners to consider and choose your venue by providing the tools and data they expect. Meeting planners are constantly on-the-go and juggling several projects at any given moment. Make their jobs easier (and make it easier for them to see your venue’s potential) by providing the valuable tools they need to select a site. According to our recent meeting planner survey, these are the mandatory tools that meeting planners expect to access directly from your hotel website:
  • Capacity charts
  • Floor diagrams
  • Room measurements
  • Virtual/video venue tours
  • Photos of actual events
Get More: What Do Meeting Planners Actually Want? Here’s the Suprising Results

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

5 Things Hotel Marketers Are Celebrating This July 4th

July 3, 2017 • By
Hotel sales and marketing pros have a lot to be happy about this year. image1 This Independence Day, hoteliers are not only celebrating a long weekend bustling with holiday travelers, but all the other indicators that prove there are more sunny skies ahead for the industry: 1) A Winning Trifecta: Thriving Group Business, Stable Economy & A Positive Hotel Market  The hotel industry’s up cycle has exceeded expectations. Occupancy rose 1.5 percent, driven by an increase in demand of 3.4 percent. ADR increased 2 percent and RevPAR rose by 3.6 percent – making May 2017 the 87th month of consecutive RevPAR growth. Even after two months with a declining pipeline of new rooms, the number of new room construction reached 192,000. This is a small increase (April 2017’s count was 189,000) and shows that the pipeline of new construction is flourishing, but at a slower pace. Most of the new construction focuses on select-service hotels without substantial meeting space, which is a boon for hoteliers overseeing full-service properties who continue to see an uptick in their booking pace as large groups compete to lock in venues.  image2 2) Owners’ Investment in a Remarkable Product You can be out-of-this-world creative. You can have the wittiest, most clever and memorable hotel marketing concept. You can even have a generous hotel marketing budget to pay for massive exposure in front of all the right audiences. Yet, all of that means nothing without a truly differentiated hotel product. If your property is providing a lackluster experience with frayed edges, outdated décor, and musty smells, no amount of brilliant marketing can save you from the downward spiral of lost revenue. New hotels with bold concepts and fresh guest experiences are springing up in all directions, so hotel owners need to invest in their properties to keep up with modern expectations. Thankfully, more and more hotel owners are realizing that the best hotel marketing investment they can make is in enhancing their property, the experience and the service. 3) The Lowest Summer Gas Prices in Years The start of summer is not normally a time for low gas prices, since so many people are taking to the road and creating demand. However, with the recent drop in oil costs, travelers are elated to find some of the lowest summer prices at the pumps for the first time in 12 years. In fact, this holiday weekend’s prices could be the lowest 4th of July gas prices since 2005. According to AAA, gas prices have been falling every day since June 2nd and are expected to keep dropping. Consider us pumped for all the road travelers ahead. 4) Expanding Awareness of Book Direct Benefits Fueled by affordable digital marketing tools and increasing comfort in deploying them, hotel marketers are feeling more confident and emboldened to push for direct bookings instead of relying on OTAs to fill their rooms. In April, Hyatt Hotels became the latest brand to offer a discount to guests who book directly from the Hyatt website, following similar programs by Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. These moves by the major chains are heightening public recognition of the benefits of booking direct and are chipping away at the myth that OTAs save money. With the stage set by industry titans and all the advanced marketing tools and metrics available to hoteliers, we expect this momentum to continue to swell. 5) Social Media Evangelists Hotels now have small, private armies of unpaid marketing staff: guests who Instagram, Snap, Facebook and Tweet while eating breakfast in bed, lounging by the pool, and watching the sunset from their balconies. Each post boosts awareness for your hotel and bolsters your hotel’s reach… all without your staff lifting a finger or spending a dime. And, even after checking out, guests continue to post photo albums and videos of their vacations. When guests gush about their travels, they’re creating content that is hotel marketing gold. You can even easily discover and collect Instagram photos posted by your guests using a tool like our new Tout.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, OTA, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Briefcases to Suitcases, Compel Business Travelers to Stretch Their Stays

June 30, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Compel corporate guests to extend their stay by creating a targeted ‘bleisure’ offer. Out of a hotel’s three primary market segments, corporate clients often produce the steadiest stream of room nights AND add-on revenue throughout the year. And better yet…. free-spending corporate travelers alo tend to spend more on dining and other ancillary products (since they are reimbursed by their companies). Amplify your revenue opportunities with corporate travelers by compelling them to add on leisure days to their stay. Here’s One Way to Encourage Them to Stay Longer: Create an exclusive offer only for corporate guests that extends the corporate rate a few days pre- and post-reservation. Add perks during those extra days, such as complimentary bike rentals, late check-out, discounted passes to a family-friendly attraction, free parking or complimentary breakfast. Include a link to a calendar of fun local events happening before, during, and after their original stay. Share this offer with corporate guests a few times leading up to their stay. Include it in the pre-stay email, at check-in… or leave a note during their stay. Get More: Turning Business Into Pleasure

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Are Siri and Alexa Interrupting Hotel Search Marketing?

June 27, 2017 • By
Hotel search engine marketing is changing… are you ready?  image1 Key Takeaways:
  • Voice search and voice assistants are gaining popularity with no signs of slowing down.
  • This fundamental shift in search behavior impacts your current SEO strategy and will influence conversions and content discovery.
  • People using voice search tend to ask questions using long-tail keyword phrases, driving the need for relevant content addressing those questions.
“Siri, what is the biggest marketing trend that impacts my hotel’s search rankings?” Just within the past few years, voice-driven search and virtual assistants (also referred to as ‘digital assistants’) have experienced a meteoric rise as more and more people turn to Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Google Home or Amazon’s Echo to research information. In fact, the Echo and the Echo Dot were Amazon’s best selling products in 2016. Now, with Apple’s recently announced Apple HomePod (to be released December 2017), virtual assistants will be making their way into more homes and into our daily lives, routines and reality. According to Google, 20% percent of searches are completed by voice. With 11 billion daily searches being conducted on Google, that equates to 2.75 million Google voice searches each day.  And, that number is expected to rise exponentially over the next few years. Virtual assistants and voice searches are actively shaping the future of hotel SEO and changing how hotel marketers view their keywords and content. Plus, they are already poised to play a bigger role in driving conversions. Voice Search Strategies to Implement Now  This increasingly vocal world and continual evolution of search engine results will present challenges for hotels and will force hotel marketers to rewrite their content and SEO playbook. Fortunately, changes have been gradual and we’re not seeing a full-blown disruption just yet. This buys hoteliers more time to prepare for changes in hotel search that are on the horizon. Here’s what hotels can do right now to address this fundamental shift in how consumers are conducting hotel searches:
  1. Study Your Hotel’s Keyword Trends The fundamental rules of SEO still apply: hotels must understand how guests are finding them via voice search and the type of phrases they use. The clearest trend driven by voice search is the rise of long-tail keyword phrases. Unlike a typed Google search, people tend to ask virtual assistants questions (“What’s a good business hotel in the Gold Coast in Chicago?” vs “gold coast business hotel”). What are guests asking about hotels in your area and your hotel specifically? What are guests asking about travel to your destination? Optimize for these long-tail keyword phrases.
  2. Create a FAQ Page Addressing These Long-Tail Questions Hotels should set up FAQ pages on their websites that match the voice queries people use to find them online. Address these voice queries with mobile-friendly property and destination guides that give guests the information they are asking for. Hotel brands that address the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ questions and provide relevant answers will outrank their compset. image2
  3. Extend FAQ Strategy to Other Content Build valuable content around your audience’s voice search keywords and build in answers to those phrases and questions in your hotel’s web pages, social media posts, and blog posts.
  4. Stay on Top of Evolving Search Trends Monitor and stay up-to-date on your hotel’s real-time search insights. Which search phrases are being asked more or less often? What is happening in your destination or hotel that impacts what people are asking? Frequent monitoring allows you to be nimble and often gives you an edge.
  5. Write Conversationally Not only will your guests enjoy your brand more with a natural voice, but this is the language spoken by voice search. Content won’t rate with Google Now or Siri if it's not written in a natural voice. People are likely to ask Siri, ‘What hotel offers a free shuttle to the Miami airport?’ versus ‘free shuttle airport Miami.’ Google has been trying to minimize the relevance of keywords in search, with so many marketers over-optimizing and stuffing in keywords anywhere and everywhere they can. Voice search offers an opportunity to focus more on the language and tone we use naturally.
  6. Brace for Future Google Algorithm Updates Google has a history of driving SEO professionals crazy by constantly changing the set of rules that prioritize search rankings. While Google hasn’t announced any penalties for hotel websites that don’t cater to voice searches, there is always the possibility of that changing in the near future.
  7. Don’t Dismiss Traditional Search Consider voice search as a vital supplement to your SEO strategy, not a replacement. For now, despite the rise of voice assistants, the majority of search is conducted through typed queries on a mobile device or desktop. Both text searches and voice searches have a place in hotel marketing, so cater to talkers and typers alike.
Also see: The Painful Truth About Hotel SEO 

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, OTA, Uncategorized